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Enabling Equity

November 13, 2019
Hannah Archer Lawton
City Organiser

Survey results to inform campaign directions

Federation thanks all members who participated in the Time to Act surveys. More than a third of workplaces responded, providing the union with rich information about the experiences of teachers from a range of public school settings supporting students with disability.

Preliminary analysis

Federation’s preliminary analysis illustrates the importance members place on the learning and social needs of students with disability.

This is what is clear from the analysis thus far:

  • inadequate permanent teacher and executive staffing and support staff
  • antiquated formulae determining class sizes (factor of need)
  • poor, inadequate and inappropriate infrastructure
  • significant work, health and safety concerns
  • inadequate time for collaborative, personalised and transition planning
  • lack of subject specific specialist teachers
  • lack of resourcing for complex case management and trauma-informed practice
  • inadequate access to allied health professionals such as speech pathologists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists
  • inadequate access to support and additional resources to address the complexities of growing student need
  • poorly functioning access request processes including the lack of appropriate student placements and integration funding support.

These are experiences across all settings; mainstream, support classes and units and schools for specific purposes (SSPs).

A thorough examination and final report will be completed. This will further strengthen Federation’s representation to the Department and State Government calling for increased funding and measures that will enable significant improvements for students with disability.

The final report will also inform the development of further campaign actions requiring the direct involvement of Federation members.

Responses highlight failures of system
  • “[Our school requires] additional classroom support and resources dedicated to support an increasing number of students who require moderate to extensive adjustment in mainstream settings.”
  • “We have extremely complex cases of students who present with behaviours of aggression, anxiety (diagnosed and undiagnosed) and backgrounds of trauma. Without adequate resources, knowledge and experience, we are unable to effectively deliver the curriculum to all students and support students with additional needs.” (mainstream school)
  • “Students should not have to abandon their local school to obtain the support they need; sufficient funding should be provided by the Department to ensure their individual needs can be met while attending their local school with their friends and peers.”
  • “We have requested certain provisions under Work, Health and Safety … and the Work, Health and Safety Directorate has deemed these provisions reasonable and necessary, however at a school services level they have said that ‘it is not in the budget’. Students with complex histories of violence that require 2-1 staffing ratio, which was developed in consultation with the WHS Directorate, at a school services level they have said ‘it is not in the budget’.” (support setting)
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© New South Wales Teachers Federation. All Rights Reserved.

Authorised by John Dixon, General Secretary, NSW Teachers Federation, 23-33 Mary St. Surry Hills NSW 2010

Privacy Policy